Happy Hour is a place to vent daily frustrations and unwind, a time to reconnect with friends and coworkers you don't mind seeing beyond the boundaries of Cubicle Land. It's is also the ideal time to score a deal on your favorite gustatives and gulpables. Although my work scenario has me behind a kitchen prep station rather than a desk, I can appreciate HH just the same. For this feature, I'll hop bar by bar to HHs across the area and report back to Meal Ticket every Tuesday.
If you've been to this week's featured HH, tell us about it in the comments. I want recommendations for future trips, too!
Let's delve into it at Cantina Los Caballitos and Devil's Den.
WHERE YOU AT?
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This week, yours truly happy-hour-hopped twice in one day. Living on the edge, I know. I arrived in Philly around 4 p.m. after completely overestimating the droves that would be heading to Citizens Bank Park. As we shot up Broad Street, my friend and I brainstormed places that had early happy hour. On Passyunk, I banged a quick right toward our first stop: Cantina Los Caballitos
(1651 E. Passyunk Ave.). Smooth orange walls and bold black lettering stick out amidst neighboring brick rowhomes. We chose to sit at the bar under the glow of multi-colored string lights. Mixed and matched wooden pub tables and booths surround the bar.
Our second stop, a few blocks north, had a much different vibe. The dark cherry wooden furnishings inside Devil's Den
(1148 S. Ellsworth St.) glisten next to the rough exposed brick walls. Vintage tin beer house emblems equal bar dÃ©cor, while large framed photos hang in the small dining room. We switched it up this time and sat at a pub table, mainly because all 15 or so barstools were taken and the dining room was too desolate.
WHAT'S THE SCENE?
Cantina was mellow. At one end of the bar a few guys drank draft beers and at the other end a few youngins gulped Tecate, PBR cans and gin and tonics. Two flat-screens and a jukebox provide audio/visual entertainment in the forms of Toots and the Maytals, Willie Nelson and super mega smash hit Gun,
starring 50 Cent and Val Kilmer.
Devil's Den crowded quickly. All seats were taken shortly after we arrived, dining room included. I think we were the only ones not glued to the Phillies game. We were more focused on food and drink, although I did pick up on whispers of Michael Jackson.
WHAT'S THE DEAL?
Cantina's happy hour runs 4 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday
and slashes prices in half on drafts, Mexican bottles (Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Carta Blanca, Sol, Pacifico, Corona, Corona Light
) and classic margaritas, whether you desire a glass or a whole pitcher. There was no food deal, though, and I was slightly bummed 'cause I really wanted some guac. I settled for two drafts (one Dos Equis Amber
and one Furthermore Fatty Boombalatty
) and my amigo ordered rocky margaritas.
You can also score half-price drafts at Devil's Den from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday
. For me, it was Boulder Mojo IPA
and Lefthand Sawtooth Pale Ale
and one Schneider Aventinus
for my friend. Chef Alex UreÃ±a
has devised a tasty tapas menu available only during happy hour to sweeten the pot, and I couldn't resist the three cheese croquettes ($5) and truffled popcorn ($2.50)
. The croquettes, the size of golf balls, sat on a spicy mayo-based smear. A thin, golden layer of crumbs packed in such an explosion of cheese I was surprised it hadn't erupted before the first bite. You need to eat these. The popcorn was drizzled with truffle oil and a few sprinkles of chipotle powder. Other snack options are the chickpea fries ($3), fresh oysters ($1.50 each) and patatas bravas ($3)